HC UPR Recommends: 4 Tips for Overcoming Writer's Block

Writer’s block: the bane of every writer’s existence. It’s a crazy-common occurrence, and it can frustrate you, drive you insane, and exhaust you. Worst of all, it can be really hard to shake off. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat in front of a blank Word document for hours and wanted to bang my head against a wall to see if that could somehow provoke inspiration and motivation that just won’t come on its own. If you’ve experienced this too and it annoys you as much as it does me, keep reading for some helpful tips that can really come in handy when trying to get rid of writer’s block.

 

  1. 1. Brainstorm & Free-Write

    These techniques are very useful in getting your creative juices flowing. Just write whatever comes to mind! Don’t think about what your next words should be, don’t worry about where your thoughts take you and don’t stop to correct spelling or grammar errors. Whether it’s phrased in bullet points or sentences in paragraphs is up to you—the important part is that you write. Vomiting your thoughts onto paper and recording your stream of consciousness will help jumpstart your creativity.

  2. 2. Move!

    We tend to be creatures of habit and routine, but sometimes those routines can become boring and monotonous, and it’s easy to lose focus. When you feel yourself falling into a rut, change it up! Literally get your blood flowing by going somewhere you don’t usually visit, or do something as simple as switching up your writing space. If you normally sit at your desk at home, go to a library, a coffee shop, or sit at a bench in the park. A change in scenery will help you clear your mind and is bound to trigger some brand new ideas.

  3. 3. Find inspiration

    Read a book, listen to music, or go on Pinterest for a while—participate in any creative outlet that you enjoy and can find peace in, or that will generate emotion in you. That emotion is sure to awaken your muse and motivate you enough to put pen to paper.

  4. 4. Breathe

    This is a reminder we all need. It’s easy to fall prey to pressure, and even easier for it to disrupt your energy and overwhelm you. Forcing yourself to write when your heart’s not in it will do you no good; it will start to feel like a burden and you’ll begin to dread it, even hate it. Everyone works at their own pace and in their own style, and writing is all about finding yours. Take a moment to remember why you write, and allow yourself to fall back in love with it. You are still a writer, whether you write three words or three pages, and all your efforts to do so are valid. 

Even though writer’s block may seem like a silent but deadly assailant that’s impossible to protect yourself from, I’ve learned that writing is a muscle, and it must be exercised every day or it might cramp up. Create the habit of keeping a journal in which you write in daily. It doesn’t matter what you write about, and neither does the quantity or the quality of it. The important part is that you practice it constantly—carry a notebook with you wherever you go, or use the Notes app on your phone. This way, you’re less likely to experience blockages, but in the case that you do, you’ll have a collection of preserved thoughts and ideas to look back on that may very well end up inspiring your next piece of writing.